Croatia`s victory was no surprise, though it was not due to fireworks but to a placid and not too convincing performance. They led 2-0 by half-time, and actually it was all over by then. A late Israeli goal didn`t make any difference.
Referee and assistants
It was a Typical Stark performance. Not whistling too much, but the few ones were accompanied by stern looks and yellow cards (including two for dissent - given to Israeli players who talked and complained too much). The division of calls was very strange. On the balance, one could argue for neutrality, but during the game it raised the temperatures at the Israeli camp. Through the first half all but one (at the most) foul calls were in favour of Croatia. The first three-quarters of the second half went in favour of Israel (especially decisions concerning touchline and goalline situations). The last quarter of the second half was more evenly balanced, though when it was a fifty-fifty situation, the call went Croatia`s way (in aperiod crucial for Israel after they had scored). Mr. Salver and Mr. Pickel were also not in their peak. Both were indecisive. late to call and more then once - utterly wrong.